Free Lunch and other things that don’t exist

You and I are similar in that we might sit up and pay attention if we heard “Free Lunch” or saw those words on a sign. But we are also selective and would not enjoy such an offer if it was poorly prepared or consisted of week-old leftovers or was not fresh when it should be fresh. So just hearing those words might get your attention, but you also would likely reserve the right to find out more before choosing to gobble up a plate of barely edible food. So we are beginning to see why its free. It might be something nobody would pay for or was about to get thrown out or fed to the goats (who will eat anything) and chickens (almost anything). That makes it free. And at the end of the day, you will be glad you didn’t participate because even though it was free, you might not feel well or might have a bad taste in your mouth for hours.

So what? So beware of the offer that sounds too good to be true. Beware of the come on phrase that tries to get your attention based on something that might be half-true. Do we have those things in the real estate industry? Absolutely we do. My personal favorite is the radio (and internet) scam called “7 Secrets of Real Estate Millionaires” or something. You know the drill; the person says they used to be a homeless dude and now owns several million dollars of property. Or she was a single mom who took in laundry but now cashes checks every month for more than $5000. with no money down. There is that phrase No Money Down. One more time – NO MONEY DOWN.

Where have you heard that before? How about some of the crazy loan programs of the last 15 years? These days you can get an FHA or VA loan with a small down payment, like 3% plus a few minor closing costs. But if you hear an ad that says no money down and rates in the low threes, I suggest you change the channel and DO NOT write down the toll-free number. It will not be what you were hoping for.

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